Editor's note: Following Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman's escape from Mexico's highest security prison, the U.S. offered to assist in the manhunt for the Sinaloa Cartel head. The New York Times reports that Mexican officials have not given an answer on the extra help, "confounding law enforcement agencies on both sides of the border and undermining efforts to recapture Mr. Guzman." - Stephanie
Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera (Spanish pronunciation: [xoaˈkin artʃiˈβaldo ɡuzˈman loˈeɾa]; born either 25 December 1954 or 4 April 1957; disputed) is a Mexican drug lord who heads the Sinaloa Cartel, a criminal organization named after the Mexican Pacific coast state of Sinaloa where it was formed. Known as "El Chapo Guzmán" ("The Shorty Guzmán", pronounced: [el ˈtʃapo ɡuzˈman]) for his 1.68 m (5 ft 6 in) stature, he became Mexico's top drug kingpin in 2003 after the arrest of his rival Osiel Cárdenas of the Gulf Cartel, and is considered the "most powerful drug trafficker in the world" by the United States Department of the Treasury.
Each year from 2009 to 2011 Forbes magazine ranked Guzmán as one of the most powerful people in the world, ranking 41st, 60th and 55th respectively. He was thus the second most powerful man in Mexico, after Carlos Slim. He was named as the 10th richest man in Mexico (1,140th in the world) in 2011, with a net worth of roughly US$1 billion. The magazine also calls him the "biggest drug lord of all time", and the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) estimates he has surpassed the influence and reach of Pablo Escobar, and now considers him "the godfather of the drug world". In 2013, the Chicago Crime Commission named Guzmán "Public Enemy Number One" for the influence of his criminal network in Chicago, though there is no evidence that Guzmán has ever been in that city. The last person to receive such notoriety was Al Capone in 1930.
Guzmán's Sinaloa Cartel smuggles multi-ton cocaine shipments from Colombia through Mexico to the United States, the world's top consumer, and has distribution cells throughout the U.S. The organization has also been involved in the production, smuggling and distribution of Mexican methamphetamine, marijuana, ecstasy (MDMA) and heroin across both North America and Europe. At the time of his 2014 arrest, Guzmán imported more drugs into the United States than anyone else.
Guzmán was captured in 1993 in Guatemala, extradited and sentenced to 20 years in prison in Mexico for murder and drug trafficking. After bribing prison guards, he was able to escape from a federal maximum-security prison in 2001. He was wanted by the governments of Mexico and the United States, and by INTERPOL. The U.S. offered a US$5 million reward for information leading to his capture, and the Mexican government offered a reward of 60 million pesos (approximately US$3.8 million) for information on Guzmán.
Guzmán was arrested by Mexican authorities in Mexico on February 22, 2014. He was found inside his fourth-floor apartment at 608 Avenida del Mar in the beachfront Miramar condominium in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, and was captured without a gunshot being fired. Guzmán escaped from prison again on July 11, 2015.